No sleep? Tired of waking up constantly with your baby? Don’t know whether they are hungry, need comfort, or want to play? Your baby who was once an amazing sleeper and took naps like a dream who is now a cranky nightmare? Well, this blog post is how I finally got sleep and how to fix the 4-month sleep regression! I went from sleeping through the night since day one to waking up every 1 to 2 hours during the night when Vincents 4-month sleep regression kicked in at full force at 3 months. I spent countless hours researching and getting help with what to do each time he woke up and have finally found solutions. Now I only wake up once during the night and it feels amazing! Before I go into details I need to address that these methods are not a guarantee. Every baby is different and different things work for them besides these which is great, but for those of you who don’t even know where to start, that’s what I’m here for!
What is Sleep Regression?
Now a lot of you might be wondering what exactly is sleep regression? At the age of sleep regression, babies start to sleep like adults. But one thing they cannot do that we can is put ourselves back to sleep. You know how when you sleep at night and wake up for a split second to situate your blankets or get a drink of water or to even just roll over? Then go back to sleep in less than 5 minutes? Well, when a baby wakes up they don’t know how to put themselves back to sleep so you have to teach them. One of the biggest reasons why they can’t put themselves back to sleep is because they depend on certain things to put them back to sleep. Like a pacifier, they will wake up without the pacifier in their mouth and will get upset if it’s not in there and will cry until you put it back in. Maybe you rock them to sleep every time, so when they wake up the only way to put them to sleep is by rocking them. Whatever it is you do, it’s causing them to depend on what you do to put them to sleep. Training a baby to go without those things is one of the hardest things you can do, but when done is the biggest weight off your shoulders!
How To Sleep Train
Let’s start with transitioning your baby into his or her crib fully awake. One of the biggest mistakes many mothers make ( Myself included ) is making the baby fall asleep before putting them in their crib. Again, that makes them depend on you putting them to sleep. First, create a bedtime routine to stick with to wind down their energy like giving them a bath, then reading them a book, singing them a song, and last feeding them to make them relaxed. Once you are done with your bedtime routine, lay them in their crib awake and tell them goodnight by kissing them on the forehead and leaving the room. They will get upset and they will cry, which is OKAY. They are not crying because they are so sad. They are crying because they are protesting going to bed and protesting because they want to play. Let them protest! Don’t give in to their cries because it will teach them that if they cry you will always go to the rescue.
Once they learn that you won’t come to every cry they will learn to put themselves to sleep. They might play around in their crib for a little while which is good and eventually fall asleep Don’t Pick Them Up unless you think somethings wrong. Let them cry from 10 to 20 (30 at the latest) minutes before going in and pat them on the back to let them know you’re there. Yes the first couple weeks will be hard and you might be going to their room every 30 minutes, but once you get it down you will not regret training them.
This book which to I swear by called Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child. This book is a step by step month by month guideline to help you train your baby to have a healthy sleep routine. It is amazing and has helped me and so many mothers finally get some sleep! It has so many solutions for different problems in babies sleep patterns. It teaches you how to switch to routines and what works best for the age of your baby.
Now if you baby is waking up to be fed, it’s okay to feed them once during the night. From 4 months on, your baby can go without eating the whole night. They are okay I promise. But if they are going through a growth spurt, set a time at night you will be okay getting them up to feed and keep it at that time. I would always feed him at 2:00 a.m and no earlier! That teaches them to have a routine while sleeping and know that when they wake up earlier it’s not time yet to eat, they still have to sleep.
Every baby is so different, some need to have things done differently than others. In that saying, this post isn’t to tell you how you should do things. Its to give you options if you are stuck and don’t know where to start. You as the parent know your baby better than anyone else. So do what you feel needs to be done and don’t stress. It’s better to stick together as moms than to do it alone!